RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The mother of a University of Virginia student killed by a member of the men’s lacrosse team has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the team’s coaches, the university’s athletics director and the state, claiming they ignored the student’s erratic behavior.
Sharon Love filed the lawsuit in Louisa County Circuit Court on Tuesday ahead of the second anniversary of the death of her 22-year-old daughter Yeardley Love, a women’s lacrosse player. The lawsuit seeks $29.45 million in damages from the state, head coach Dom Starsia, assistant coach Marc Van Arsdale and athletics director Craig Littlepage.
George W. Huguely V, 24, of Chevy Chase, Md., was convicted in February of second-degree murder in Love’s May 3, 2010, death. A jury also convicted him of grand larceny and recommended he serve a total of 26 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 30.
Sharon Love also filed a $30.5 million wrongful death lawsuit against Huguely last week.
The lawsuit against the state and the coaches was first reported Thursday by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The complaint alleges that the coaches ignored Huguely’s erratic behavior, including two alcohol-related arrests, frequent intoxication and attacks on another female student, a teammate and a Virginia tennis player. The lawsuit cites another incident in which Huguely allegedly choked Love until others stopped him.
“It was well known to the players and coaches on the UVA men’s and women’s lacrosse teams that Huguely’s alcohol abuse and erratic, aggressive behavior was increasingly getting out of control, especially his obsession with Love and his aggressiveness and threats to Love,” the complaint says.
Despite these incidents, the lawsuit says, nobody at the university disciplined Huguely or tried to get him into treatment
for alcohol abuse or anger management.
Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, said in an email to The Associated Press that he was aware of the lawsuit but it had not yet been served on the defendants.
“If it is served, we will vigorously defend the case,” he said. “While we certainly recognize the terrible loss suffered by
the Love family, that loss was not caused by the commonwealth or anyone employed at the University of Virginia.”
An attorney for the Love family did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)